HR Tip of the Week – Why You Should Get Return to Work Authorizations

Hr Tip Of The Week Return To Work Authorizations

This week’s HR Tip of the Week focuses on Return to Work Authorizations.  Some employers don’t realize that a Return to Work Authorization may be necessary for even the shortest of medically necessary leaves of absence.

The Family Medical Leave Act establishes certain medical authorization requirements for FMLA eligible employers who have 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius.  However, there are situations where even smaller employers might need a proper Return To Work Authorization to protect themselves from other exposures such as the following:

  • Increase in work hazard due to medically prescribed Rx following a medical procedure.
  • Temporary or permanent accommodations due to an Americans with Disabilities Act eligible condition
  • Temporary limitations on ability to perform the essential functions of a job following medical treatment or procedures
  • Return to work on intermittent basis while undergoing medically required treatment

Employers should consider an employee’s medical condition, the type of medical treatment, and the return to work recommendations from the attending physician when the employer is notified of an employee’s return to work following recovery from a medical procedure or treatment.  A good practice is always to error on the side of caution when returning employees to work following leaves of absence, and get a release from the physician identifying whether it is a full, partial or restricted return to work.

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